Laurits Tuxen, Wedding of Nicholas II and Grand Princess Alexandra Fyodorovna at the Grand Church of the Winterpalace, 1895, oil on canvas, 65,5 x 87,5, Credit State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

1800 Objects Recreate Life in the Russian Court of the 19th Century

St. Petersburg, craftsman Jean François Xavier Boudde, Snuffbox with a portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich, c. 1780, gold, enamel, diamonds, silver; chased, guilloche, 1,2 x 9 x 5,5; Geneva, snuffbox with a portrait of Alexander I, 1870-80, gold, miniature; chased, polished, painted, 2,1 x 8,8 x 5,9, Credit State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Luigi Premazzi, Hall of Dutch and Flemish Masters, 1858, watercolour, whitewash, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

St. Petersburg, masquerade costume of Grand Duchess Ksenia Alexandrovna-‘Boyarina’, 1903, patterned silk dress with bands of gold brocade, embroidered with silver cord and artificial pearls; shoulder panels of brocade with embroidery and artificial pearls, Credit State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

1880s, shoes, in different colours, of Empress Maria Fyodorovna, on French heels, Credit State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Anonymous, Portrait of Tsar Alexander III, oil on canvas, 1895-1900, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

François Flameng, Portrait of Princess Zinaida Nikolajevna Yusupova, 1894, oil on canvas, 125 x 94, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.


Hermitage Amsterdam
Nieuwe Herengracht 14
+31. (0)20 530 87 55
At the Russian Court:
Palace and protocol in the 19th century

June 20, 2009-January 31, 2010

The inaugural exhibition of Hermitage Amsterdam, At the Russian Court. Palace and Protocol in the 19th Century, promises to be one of the most lavish ever presented in Europe, and one of the largest. With more than 1,800 objects on loan from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, the exhibition will fill the Amstelhof — the historic, newly restored home of Hermitage Amsterdam — as it recreates life at the Russian court during the 19th century: a period that spanned the reigns of six tsars, from the little-known Paul I, son of Catherine the Great, to the tragic Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia.

One entire exhibition wing of Hermitage Amsterdam will be devoted to the elaborate protocol of the 19th-century Russian court, with its public demonstrations of power and opulence. The other wing will tell the story of the grandiose dinners, parties and themed balls hosted by the tsars in the Hermitage. Among the objects that will bring these subjects to life will be hundreds of exceptionally rich ball gowns and other costumes, magnificent court paintings by Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Ilya Repin, extraordinary items of furniture including the Romanov throne, impressive pieces of jewellery by makers such as Fabergé, vast and valuable dinner services and the last tsarina’s grand piano.

This spectacular exhibition, which will occupy 2,200 square metres, has been designed by Merkx+Girod Architecten, whose previous work includes the recent Rijksmuseum Amsterdam exhibition The Masterpieces (2008) and the exhibition Morocco: 5,000 Years of Culture in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam (2004). Inspiration for the design has been drawn from the two most famous rooms in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, the Nicholas Hall and St George’s Hall. The decorations in these rooms will be reflected in the two great exhibition halls at the Hermitage Amsterdam.

The installation will include a number of interactive computer programmes, to offer information beyond the material found in the traditional text displays and the audio-tour. Another striking feature of the presentation will be the projection of images from the film Russian Ark, which was photographed entirely in the Hermitage in St Petersburg by the Russian director Alexander Sokurov. These images will combine with music and revolving display cases to create the impression of a 19th-century ball taking place within the Hermitage Amsterdam.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a handsome, richly illustrated catalogue in Dutch and English, featuring four scholarly essays, twelve shorter articles on various aspects of the exhibition, a family tree of the Romanovs, an explanation of the complex hierarchy of the Russian court, and detailed descriptions of the objects.

Firm of A.M. Schröder, , Ernst Liphart (paintwork), S. Volkovysski (carving) K.A. Berto (gilding), 1898, Grand piano, wood, gilded bronze, 100 x 277 x 156, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Firm P.A. Ovtsjinnikov, manufactured by V.V. Vasiljev, Icon of Saint-Alexander Nevski, Saint-Titus the miracle worker and Saint-Policarpus the martyr , 1879, oil on wood, silver, enamel, diamonds, pearls, gold leaf, 128 x 85, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Table laid with china from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Berlin, given to Tsar Nicholas II in 1894 by Emperor Wilhelm II, Berlin, 1894, porcelain; France, wine and water glasses, early 20th century; Paris, silver cutlery, 1778-1779, and French candelabra with fire-gilt bronze putti, 1880-1890. State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Ch. Mayer, Russian throne with double-headed eagle and footstool, 1797, gilded wood carving, velvet 183 x 87 x 104, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Monogram of Alexandra Feodorovna in the shape of the letter A, 1825-1855, gold, silver, diamonds, (clockwise) firm of Carl Fabergé St Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.

Ivan Kramskoy, Fan from the possessions of Maria Feodorovna with portraits of Alexander III and their children Nikolai, Georgi, Ksenia, Mikhail and Olga, 1886, wood, 26,1, Credit State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg.